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The app itself works almost identically to Instagram. You can snap photos, add filters and effects, and then post them for your followers to see. The main difference is that Pressgram includes support for WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org sites, so you can direct traffic to your own blog. The Pressgram WordPress plugin specifies a unique tag for your photos to keep them off the main page in case you want to post often without overwhelming your audience.
Pressgram also comes with Saddington’s commitment to keep the service free from advertising and allow users to keep full control of their own data. The app includes a watermarking feature that lets you automatically add a small copyright tag to your photos.
The service seems bound to appeal to a fairly niche audience at first, but it does have a shot at creating the kind of magical community that Instagram was early on. The app needs a bit of work, though. When I posted my first photo, it failed to share to Twitter and Facebook. I tried sharing manually but nothing happened. When I reopened the app hours later, it sent out duplicate posts. The next photo I tried worked, but I encountered another double posting issue after both Pressgram and WordPress sent out their own messages on Twitter and Facebook.
The overall message behind Pressgram is also confusing to me. Saddington has declared Facebook and Instagram to be his enemy, and yet he includes Facebook sharing in the app. By his own admission, he built Pressgram to “functionally have everything that Instagram currently has”, but he doesn’t seem aware of the hypocrisy in cloning another company’s service while championing the cause of protecting the work of creators.
If you maintain your own WordPress installation and are dissatisfied with how Facebook has managed Instagram since it took over and, Pressgram is tailor-made for you. I’m half-heartedly sticking with Instagram for now, but it’s nice to know there’s an alternative if I can ever bring myself to leave.
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